I'm trying to learn the verb 酌む (to pour sake, to serve sake), but I can only find a few sentences with this verb, and in these few sentences the verb 酌む doesn't appear to express (in theory) its main meaning: to serve sake, but derivative forms of 酌む like 酌み交わす or expressions like 意を酌む. So I would like you to give me an example sentence (or some if you please) with 酌む (not 酌み交わす) meaning "to pour sake, to serve sake".

  • 1
    Not sure what you are looking for. Does this help? Or try this with 酌む
    – sundowner
    Sep 3, 2021 at 11:59
  • @sundowner Thanks for the links, although what I would like the most is just an example sentence with no need to have a context to be fully understood, unlike the majority of sentences that are extracts from corpuses.
    – kanachan
    Sep 4, 2021 at 12:51

1 Answer 1


I was browsing through the corpuses, and probably the cause of your difficulty is just that 酌む is not really used in ordinary conversations.

  • 友達と酒を酌んだ I had a drink with a friend
  • 酒を酌みながらテレビを見た I drank sake watching TV

are not particularly weird, but normally I would say 友達と酒を飲んだ/酒を飲みながらテレビを見た.

酌み交わす may be used more frequently, but still sounds a bit dramatic.

  • いつか子供と酒を酌み交わしたい I want to drink with my children some day

Again, 酒を飲みたい sounds more usual to me.

On the other hand, the sense of understand/guess is usual.

  • 事情を酌んで considering the circumstances
  • 意図を酌む guess/estimate the intention


  • 水をコップに汲む pour water into a glass

is perfectly normal. In the same way,

  • 日本酒をコップに酌む pour sake into a glass

should be fine. In this case what happens is only pouring, so 酌む can be replaced only by そそぐ(注ぐ) or つぐ.

I said should because for some reason I don't see any uses of 酌む with explicitly mentioning where sake is being poured. There may be hidden rules for use of 酌む that makes 日本酒をコップに酌む ungrammatical, in which case 酒を酌む always means 酒を飲む.

  • Thank you so much for answering! Then, although not in an ordinary conversation, but for example in a novel, could I always replace 飲む by 酌む? Does 酌む mean "to drink (sake)"?
    – kanachan
    Sep 5, 2021 at 12:03
  • 1
    Almost yes, except for the sense of consider etc. (which is synonymous for 斟酌する ). I say almost because of the sentences I added in the edit.
    – sundowner
    Sep 5, 2021 at 12:44
  • Ok, I see! Thank you so much for your help. :)
    – kanachan
    Sep 5, 2021 at 19:48

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